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tv   The Communicators  CSPAN  February 26, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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ground so it can accelerate and not impede economic growth. it won't be easy, there will be plenty of debates and disagreements, and neither party will get everything it wants. both sides will have to compromise. that is what it will take to do what is right for our country. i look forward to working with members of both parties to produce a responsible budget that cut what we cannot afford, sharpen america's competitive edge in the world, and helps us win the future. thanks, everybody, and have great weekend. >> on rob portman. i am proud to represent the people of ohio is a new united states center. what are heard in my travels to every county in ohio in the past couple of years and continue to hear across our state is a deep concern over jobs and the future of our economy. there is an understandable frustration with washington's failure to address even the most basic of problems. people are looking for leadership to create jobs and opportunity. instead what they see is the same tired political responses.
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we were told two years ago this month that the way to grow the economy was through bigger government, more spending, and more borrowing. the stimulus plan ended up costing over one trillion dollars, when you include interest on the money that had to be borrowed to pay for it. it was a grand experiment that failed. it not only failed to produce new jobs, an economic boost the it -- the obama administration promise. it added up to a record deficit again this year. the national debt is now dangerously close to the size of the entire u.s. economy. this growing red ink is hurting the economy today and mortgaging the future for our kids and grandkids. we have had to relearn the lesson we all know in our hearts, you cannot spend your way to prosperity. as american families have tightened their belts over the past couple of beers and businesses have had to do more with less, the federal government is taking the opposite path of spending more, growing bigger, and becoming more involved in our economy and
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our lives. this historic failure to control spending directly affects our economy and the ability to create jobs. pushes up interest rates, crowd out private investment and leaves us with either higher taxes, more borrowing, or both. it could lead to the kind of financial crisis we see in greece and other countries. washington has added to the uncertainty by pursuing other policies that stifle job growth including a tax cut that expired, making it a political football, unpredictable rises in health care costs, and increasing reliance on the middle east and other volatile parts of the world for our energy. it is time to change course. there is an urgency about this that the american people get. even while many in washington seem to be in denial. we must rise to the challenging work together and get our --
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meet our economic and fiscal challenges head on. we must do it now. this means enacting new tax policies that take away uncertainty and encourage innovation and make us more competitive in a global economy. it means real health care reform the reduces costs, helping working families and small businesses afford access. it means sensible regulatory reform as the reverse is the growing burdens on employers that drives jobs overseas. it means a national energy policy that uses our own resources to stop the dangerous dependence on foreign oil. and it means stopping the red ink that threatens to swap our economy. once a year, president required to submit a federal budget that sets out a vision for the coming year and into the future. it is a leadership opportunity and a solemn responsibility. there was a lot of anticipation
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surrounding the president's budget released last week. he had repeatedly and eloquently described the dire fiscal condition of the nation and he promised action. last year's budget proposal established a fiscal commission that issued a stern report in november calling for deep spending reductions to stave off fiscal and economic disaster. the president himself has pointed out ago what we have done is kick the can down the road, and we are now at the end of the road and not in a position to keep it any further." and yet the president's budget did exactly that. he rejected the dire warnings of his own fiscal commission and not only keeps can down the road -- not only kick the can down the road but ignored deeper debt and ignored bipartisan calls for entitlement reform, tax reform, and regulatory restraint. instead of making the tough choices, all americans know are necessary to get our house in
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order and strengthen our economy, the president's budget locks in the higher levels of spending over the past two years and double the national debt. as the democrats co-chairman of the fiscal commission said, it goes nowhere near where they will have to go to address our problems. having chosen to duck the tough choices for the coming year and beyond, the president and democrats in congress are now objecting to any reductions in spending congress can control in the current budget year. this is the pri despite the fact that this year's 1.6 trillion dollars deficit is at record levels. over the past two years under democrat leadership, this type of spending has increased 24%. over 80% if you include the stimulus. our goal as republicans is to make sensible reductions in spending, and create a better environment for job growth, not to shut down the government. in our deficits under control is the first that we can take
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and the single most important step washington can take to get our economy moving and create the jobs we so badly need. in ohio and around the country, people are looking for common sense leadership to get us back on track. they know what we americans are capable of. new jobs within our grasp if washington will act with resolve to create the plan for success. but they know that we risk the american dream becoming a fiscal nightmare if we do not act and act now to do what is right. thank you for listening. "the communicators" is on location and we are starting to several participants in this conference. we begin with clay shirky, author, professor, and thinker about technology and its uses. he has written four books on the internet and technology, including his latest.
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is the internet browser antiquated technology? >> it is antiquated in the sense that it is nearing 20 years old now. anything that is 20 years old is antiquated. has consistently proven its worth. it started to disappear, not because it is going away but because it is so connected to everything else. it brings all the user interaction into the browser. the browser -- just the other day i asked my 9-year-old if he
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had the browser window open and he said, what is a browser? to him, it is what she used the computer for. the browser is becoming infrastructure rather than in the application that people think about. >> with the new applications other, is the browser going away? >> it is going away in the sense that it is getting more tied to the operating system and less with the user experience. the applications for is really just one click install of software. people are bringing it back to the personal computer. there are a number of people in the windows world who are working on making software easier to install. the browser demonstrated how
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easy it was to use software, when you did not have to install lots of things. now the rest of the software ecosystem is coming to exhibit the same characteristics. the browser stops being the center of our experience, but it remains part of the infrastructure that we will all be using in the future. >> what is the effect of marlowe's -- were less mobility on how we use technology? >> the word were less has the same descriptive air as the term horseless carriages. it is not a lack of wires that is the most important thing anymore. what makes wireless special is that we stopped having to think about access and think about space at the same time. it used to be that if i want to use the internet, i had to go to a special room and sit in front
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of a special machine with the yellow wire on the back. but having android or a smart phone does, it says you do not need to think about where you are, just think about what you want to do. one of the things that erases is the old notion of online vs. off line, that online is a place we went to escape from the real world. someone asked me how many hours a day do i spend online? i struggled for an answer until i realized, the question doesn't make any sense anymore, because we don't really have the experience of going on-line. we pull out of phone to look up something on a map or get someone's number often it online website. we are certainly using the internet just as surely as if you were using it at home, but the fact that it is on your phone means that wireless has
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made the experience of using the network much more embedded in our daily practice. >> what about when it comes to a legislative or regulatory policy? the use of androids and smart phones, etc. >> just today a presidential directive came out around the idea that the bug in regulation versus democratic theory is, it has always been very difficult to get people to participate in regulatory activity. there is a potential to take the democratic ideal of regulation, that it should be shaped by people who have a stake in their outcome, and to link its with the ability for wireless devices to make our experience
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of the network beat potentially light weight of the time. will people's ability to be contacted and to participate, wherever they are, will increase the ability to get people's opinions taken in when regulatory questns are raised? that is a huge question, not just theoretical but it is a design question. can you design interfaces for the mobile phone that will actually say, let me read regulations in these environments. being able to compress that information in hand it to someone is not just a question of saying now we go and pick up
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the project. it is a whole new design effort around the characteristics connected to it and how can we reach people where they are? >> you wrote about the political power of social media. when the things you noted is that film users around the world are now connected some help be as a social radio. what effect does it have on u.s. foreign policy? >> the effect on political movements, the foreign affairs article is partly just a description of what is happening in the social media network. it is partly an attempt to argue to the fact we have often overestimated the fact of access to information.
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access to information is less important than access to conversation. you can see this playing out indonesia right now. the the effect of these tools is not to give people information they did not already have, is to help people who want to engage with the government in some way , and helps them to communicate with one another and coordinate their activities. the effect on democracy will be to a strengthened -- strength in the public here. for our credit governments, it is more of a to edged sword. it improves the economy and civic life. on the other hand, it tends to threaten the autocratic state.
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it is a debate among many people looking at these issues. or the positive effects going to outweigh the potential to control citizens? is it a net gain for democracy or four -- i am on the net and democracy side. it tends to strengthen democracy over the long haul. it is not because it gives people access to information, it is because it strengthens the ability of citizens to know their own minds as groups and take action together. the autocratic states of the world what to prevent that from happening. as much as those looking on the events of attorneys are hoping
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they now get a democratic government. the reward of the insurgency will be self governing of the tunisian people. the world's autocratic leaders are studding those events, trying to figure out how to keep anything like that from ever happening. >> should the state permit have a policy of promoting social media? >> we did have a policy for the last year. secretary clint about this time last year made a speech unveiling internet freedom as a formal policy within the state department, something we wanted to promote and something would be willing to remonstrate with other countries of the world. however, that has turned out to be tremendously problematic in light of wikileaks. suddenly, the exposure of internal -- internal state department -- to the tunisian
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example, it became obvious to everyone that the united states knew that the ben ali regime was completely corrupt, but they were pro-western, so they were tolerated. that complicates the secretary's job. it is not clear that the u.s. should do anything specific to promote social media as a foreign policy objective, in part because of these kind of complexities and because the world's autocratic governments are now increasingly worried about social media. in some cases it makes it easier for the autocratic governments to crack down.
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it may well be that the best policy of the state department regarding internet freedom is not to say anything in public about internet freedom, but to simply work to see that people are able to use the internet to communicate as they will, without making it a formal policy guideline. >> as we are taking this interview, clay shirky, hu jintao happens to be in washington. should the facebook in google and being of the world be held accountable for policies that they as private corporations develop in china? >> that is really complicated question. ultimately i have to take the democratic punt, which is that is a question for congress. it is so large and touches so many things, then i think there is no legitimate regulatory answer to that question. i think that only the most
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legitimized body, the representatives we all send to congress, can actually hash out the question of do what americans to be able to complete on a level playing field? it means going into our credit, but -- countries and abiding by their rules. -- it means going into autocratic countries and abiding by their rules. do you want to say that the u.s. as one of the world's anchor democracies records -- regards democracy promotion as a federal objective? there is also the way in which u.s. citizens may well have a stake in this debate, separate from our elected representatives. people would be enormously of said when it turns out that nokia equipment was being used in iran to uncover dissidents, and they were enormously upset with yahoo! help in the chinese
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government find dissidents. i don't think there is an easy policy or a policy answer at all. i think it is worth questioning, and i hope that congress offers some clarity. the worst thing that could happen is that everybody models along thinking they know what the rules are, without some kind of clarity being produced legislatively. cracks in six months, five years, 10 years down the road, what are you most excited about when it comes to technology? >> i am excited about what happens in society when it gets boring. these tools do not get socially interesting until they become technologically boring. it is not the moment when a shiny new tool shows up in the hands of a 15-year-old that changes the world. it is when your mom takes it for granted that she can make a video and uploaded to youtube.
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is when a group that wants to perform does not even thinking about using the internet as a tool for finding members, raising money, publishing material. that is the moment of real social change. a lot of the stuff we have now already factored in as part of the technological landscape still has yet to show up in american society in its full social ramifications. changes happen always slower. at the end of the day, it is really the social changes catalog by the technology that turn out to be the really big deal. >> if you could redesign the fcc, were reduced our? >> i would start spectrum policy -- where would you start? >> i would start at spectrum
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policy. it seems to be about spectrum, but it is actually about the state of radio spectrum in the 1930's. the way we managed spectrum then was to say that only one broadcast -- there is no way to manage interference. the frequency -- my great frequency -- the microwave frequency, they said do what you want there. that is where wifi showed up, which is the most incredible change in technology in the last few years. i would make it clear that when engineering changes, the regulatory apparatus changes as well. we could get so which more
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value out of the spectrum the fcc manages at on our behalf if we approached it with 21st century engineering. >> how did and are major from yogurt interested in this? >> by accident. -- how did an art major from the yale get interested in this? >> i was doing some research in the library for a theater company. i heard about the internet and said i would check it out. i was given by my mother the idea that the internet was a giant library. when i got there and saw the social aspect of it, it was the most interesting thing i had ever seen. there was this kind of giant left turn. i was extremely fortunate in two ways.
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they were willing to teach me how this thing works. there were not a lot of people who had formal degrees in any of this stuff, so i was kind of accepted as one of the tribe, a laggard liberal arts major who was trying to understand the new technology. i just over five years hammered out a new life for myself. >> what is cognitive surplus? >> it is the combined free time and talents of the world's population, well over one trillion hours a year. it allows us to pool that time and surplus in the private attention into large, a collaborative projects. wikipedia is the best example of
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that. a lot of people contribute a little bit of time, a few people contribute a lot of time, and a result of that participation has been this -- is the most used reference work in the world. intend years --in 10 years, billions of hours of human time have been volunteered to create this resource. this is a social resources we can design around in general. >> what concerns you the most, looking six months, five years, years down the road at that technology? >> what has always concerned me is that of the good aspects of the internet are built on top of not just wires and antennas
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and computers. they are built on standards and regulatory agreements of behavior. they are built on the ability of individuals in companies and governments to say i would rather abide by these rules than opt out because this network is good. if there is a concerted push against the world's autocratic leaders are by telecom companies who would rather have commercial capture, all of that could be significantly damaged. constant vigilance is the thing that keeps free systems free. essentially, the vigilance we need now is to keep the internet from either fracturing are being dismantled by the forces who would rather -- because it interferes with their business goals. >> clay shirky, what do you
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teach? >> i teach. practice of social media. i have just taken a joint appointment with the journalism department. one of the places where the effects of digital media or enormously visible right now is in journalism. i want to be part of figuring out how in the middle of these enormous changes we continue to get the amount and quality journalism that a functioning democracy needs. >> what choices have been made in technology? what do you use? >> i have an android phone. linux d desk top, and i am playing with the ipad. i like it, but i am not one of those people who was transformed by it. so much of what do with these
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devices is to write, not just to read. the laptop is better for writing and the ipad. >> arthur, professor, and technology thinker clay shirky has been our guest on "the communicators." thank you so much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> as the nation's governors meet here in washington, use the c-span video library to learn more about the state's chief executives. see inaugurals of new governors and your state of the state addresses, all free on-line research, watch, click, and share, anytime. >> the supreme court heard oral arguments on tuesday in the case of carol and bond, sentenced to six years in prison for spreading chemicals on her husband's mistresses car and mailbox. the issue is whether an individual can challenge federal
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law on to the men and grounds which concerned congressional versus state authority. this is just over an hour. >> we will hear arguments in bond versus united states. >> the standing of the petitioner to challenge the constitutionality of the federal statute under which her liberty is being deprived should not be open to serious question. she clearly satisfies the test for standing. it is hard to imagine something more concrete than six years in federal prison. the liberty interest she seeks to vindicate is her own and not some third party's. i think standing is a bit of a misnomer. petitioner is not a plaintiff. she is a defendant hailed into
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court by federal prosecutor. there is no logical reason she should not be able to mount a constitutional attack on the statute that is the basis for the prosecution.

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